While highlighting its key functions and benefits, discuss how the recently launched South Asia Geostationary Communication Satellite will touch the lives of ordinary people living in South Asia? Are there any strategic objectives for India also towards launching this satellite?

South Asian Geostationary Communication Satellite was launched by Indian space agency ISRO for SAARC region. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka will use the services from satellite.
The satellite offers wide range of functions and benefits for the people of SAARC region:

  1. Support a range of applications in telecommunications, broadcasting, tele-education and telemedicine.
  2. It will help meet the social and development needs of south asian region like natural resource mapping, tele-medicine and tele-connectivity.
  3. The communication satellite aims to provide participating countries television services and communications technology for bank ATMs and e-governance, and may even act as a backup for cellular networks, especially in places where the terrestrial connectivity is weak
  4. Data from GSAT-9 which is a geostationary communication satellite will be shared with other 5 nations
  5. The SAARC nations who are a part of the project will have access to at least one transponder each using which they can telecast their own programming. 
  6. Services like tele-medicine and tele-connectivity will help large number of rural population in south asia marred by poor physical infrastructure.
  7. South Asian region is prone to disasters such as floods, earthquake satellite would help in interstate disaster management
  8. Countries will have to only pay for their ground station other costs will be borne by India
  9. South Asian Satellite would boost connectivity between south asian countries and is an act of developing good relation with neighbours known as “Space Diplomacy”
  10. Reduce the dependency of smaller nations on China for space related services.
  11. Increase India’s presence in Afghanistan and help in process of rehabilitation.

South Asian satellite can be seen as landmarks neighbour first policy but it is required that India ensure interruption and smooth service through the satellite.

Question for UPSC Mains:
While highlighting its key functions and benefits, discuss how the recently launched South Asia Geostationary Communication Satellite will touch the lives of ordinary people living in South Asia? Are there any strategic objectives for India also towards launching this satellite?

Published: September 25, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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